The aim of this study was to demonstrate the occurrence of stochastic resonance (SR) in spinal and cortical potentials elicited by periodic tactile stimuli in the anaesthetised cat. The periodic tactile stimuli were applied on the central pad of the hindpaw and the noisy tactile stimuli on the glabrous skin of the third hindpaw digit. This protocol allowed that the signal and noise were mixed not in the skin but in the somatosensory regions of the central nervous system. The results show that a particular level of tactile noise can increase the amplitude of the spinal and cortical potentials elicited by periodic tactile stimuli. The topographical distribution of evoked potentials indicates that the effects of noise were spatially restricted. All cats showed distinct SR behavior at the spinal and cortical stages of the sensory encoding. Such SR was abolished in the cortical but not in the spinal recording after the sectioning of the ascending pathways. This suggests that the spinal neurones may also contribute to the SR observed at the cortical level. The present study documents the first evidence that the SR phenomenon occurs in the spinal and cortical somatosensory system itself and not only in the peripheral sensory receptors.